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February 14, 1988

Ethiopian authorities dismissed as "blatant lies" claims that 20 people resisting resettlement were killed by government troops at a remote food distribution center. Ethiopia's official Relief and Rehabilitation Commission said that "no one in his right mind can imagine that any responsible person can commit such an atrocity against drought victims." Western relief officials quoted eyewitnesses as saying government troops opened fire early in the week on farmers who had come to the Korem food distribution center, 300 miles north of Addis Ababa, to collect monthly food rations. The troops reportedly started firing after farmers refused to board buses that were to take them to resettlement camps.

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